What to Do with Water Damage in a Rental Property?

As a property owner you always fear that call; your tenant calls you up to say the bathroom flooded, or a pipe has just burst. Now what? The first thing to do when it comes to water damage is to act quickly. This will help limit the amount of damage to your property.

Who is responsible?

There is a clause in your contract that says “the landlord’s responsibility to make sure the property is habitable and safe”.

But, as a landlord, you are only responsible for any damage that occurs due to your negligence. That is, bad plumbing or a leaking roof not repaired. If your tenant is negligent and, for example, leaves the tap running all night, that’s their responsibility.

Whoever is responsible for the negligence that caused the water damage will be required to pay for any associated repairs and cleanup.

Landlords need to know how best to handle a water damage situation and how to work well with their tenants to prevent severe property damage.

Water Damage Miami

Work with Your Tenants

Water damage in properties can be very problematic. If not attended immediately, it can damage property further and microbial growth can occur within 72 hours after water damage. You should communicate to your tenant how important it is to deal with the water damage when they sign the lease. This way, they can become aware of the risks and hopefully be on board to cooperate if a water damage situation arises.

In the event of water damage, you’d want your tenants to be willing to help with simple things like moving furniture from the water source and switching off the main water supply.

Record proof of the damage

To claim your costs with your insurance provider to repair and clean up water damage, you will need reliable evidence of the damage and what caused it. Make sure you document everything with photos and videos before getting started on the repairs.

Best way to Prevent Future Water Damage

  • Regular Maintenance and Inspections

  • Communicate with Your Tenants

  • Adequate Insurance (review your coverage)

Additional Resources for Flood Cleanup information is available in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

“Resources for Flood Cleanup”

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